Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Yvon Lambert - Paris, a chance meeting and a photograph

Harvey Benge - Yvon Lambert, Paris, May 2016

It was a pleasure and surprise to go into the Yvon Lambert bookshop in Rue Vieille du Temple last week and discover that the gentleman sitting quietly in a chair by the door was in fact Yvon Lambert. Bruno who manages the shop called M. Lambert over and the three of us discussed the merits of a selection of Araki polaroids that the shop had for sale. I preferred the more obvious Araki signature pieces, bondage. Yvon Lambert opted for some of the other more subtle works. M. Lambert graciously allowed me to make his portrait, which you can see here.

In 1966, Yvon Lambert opened his first gallery in Paris, and began to exhibit American artists. He showed founders of conceptualism, minimalism and land art such as Carl Andre and Lawrence Weiner. 1986 he moved to the glass-roofed space on rue Vieille du Temple where Lambert established strong relationships with artists such as Joan Jonas, Nan Goldin, Jenny Holzer, Thierry Kuntzel, Glenn Ligon and Anselm Kiefer.
In 2014, after five decades in business Yvon Lambert closed his gallery in Paris, although the bookshop remains. Although he has disengaged from the world of fine art, Lambert has certainly not retired. He plans to shift his focus to publishing more limited-edition artists’ books which will supplement what he has been doing in his shop which includes recent trade titles together with rare books and exhibition catalogs. And Lambert’s legacy continues, in 2012, he donated his personal contemporary collection to the French state, and it now can be seen at the Hôtel de Caumont in Avignon.

You can check out the Yvon Lambert book shop HERE.

Harvey Benge - Yvon Lambert, Paris, May 2016

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